The Lowell Police Department Receives $950,000 to Revitalize the Centralville Neighborhood and Assist Ex-Offenders
LOWELL, MA (August 22, 2021) – On August 22, 2012, the Lowell Police Department (LPD) was notified by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) that the department would be receiving a $900,000 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant, one of six awards made nationwide. The LPD also received a $50,000 Second Chance Act Adult Offender Reentry Program planning grant from the USDOJ this week.
The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant will fund the Centralville Friends for Improvement, Revitalization, and Enforcement (C-FIRE) program. This program will utilize comprehensive, community-based crime prevention strategies that will strive to decrease crime, increase resident safety, provide positive alternatives for at-risk youth and enhance the Centralville neighborhoods revitalization efforts. Through this grant the LPD will work closely with the Centralville Neighborhood Action Group (CNAG) and partner with the Greater Lowell Workforce Investment Board/Career Center, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell, the United Teen Equality Center, Coalition for a Better Acre, Community Teamwork, Inc., International Institute of New England and Mill City Grows. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts –Lowell Center for Family, Work and Community will assist the LPD and project partners to implement and evaluate the program.
In addition to the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant, the LPD also received the Second Chance Planning Grant, which will focus on creating a five-year strategic plan that addresses the needs of ex-offenders returning to the community from incarceration. The LPD along with the Greater Lowell Workforce Investment Board/Career Center founded the Greater Lowell Ex-Offender Reentry Partnership in 2010. This Partnership includes representatives from a variety of stakeholders, including City and State agencies, as well as local service providers. Through the Second Chance Planning Grant, the group will work together to design a five-year strategic plan that will focus on identifying and addressing the greatest needs of ex-offenders and providing them with comprehensive services both before and after their release from incarceration in an effort to reduce recidivism in the Greater Lowell area.
Superintendent Kenneth Lavallee stated, “The Lowell Police Department is eager to begin work on both the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation and Second Chance Planning grants. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with CNAG through the C-Fire program and this grant will provide a variety of much needed resources to the Centralville area. We are also excited to strengthen the Greater Lowell Ex-Offender Partnership through the Second Chance grant. Recidivism of ex-offenders has long been a concern in the City and putting together a solid five-year strategic plan will allow the LPD to apply for additional grant funding in the future to benefit ex-offenders and reduce their likelihood of re-offending. The LPD is extremely grateful to the USDOJ, as well as Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Senators Brown and Kerry, who have been instrumental in supporting our efforts to secure grant funding in recent years.”